How To Preserve Greenery.

In: Home Decor Tutorials

How to preserve greenery for your home decor.

In honor of the new season of The Walking Dead, which has done many things to me in these first few episodes- made me cry, gag, laugh, swear, and it’s basically blown my mind. 

 Spoiler alert!!!

Zombies eating people isn’t so bad, but people eating people is just wrong. 

Spoiler Finished.  Back to Business.

I would like to give a quick tutorial on a really cool way to add some nature to your abode before winter sets in.  Better hurry before all that is left to decorate with are fake Christmas Trees and whatever you can pick out of your neighbors trash

Lets break this title down a bit shall we?

Zombie– Discolored dead person that looks alive.  (they also eat human flesh, but that is irrelevant here.  Greenery doesn’t eat people. duh.)

Greenery–  Green plants that could potentially adorn your house, studio apartment, car, or box.  Wherever you are lucky enough to call home.

I like greenery.  Especially the alive, non-fake kind.  The only problem with the alive variety is that you have to keep it that way.  I’m not so great at that.   I keep my kids alive, so if I were to add on any extra “keeping alive” responsibilities, it may push me over the edge.

So, how do I have “alive” greenery, but without all the pesky work and green thumbness that goes along with it…

The word for the day is….


Maybe the word should be glycerine. (possibly the same as the Bush song, but I’m not sure because I totally do not get the lyrics.  I’m either too dumb or just not cool enough.)

Okay fine, the phrase of the day is…

Glycerine preserved greenery.

I’m going to show you how to create Zombie Greenery by creating a glycerine concoction.  It looks and feels alive, but is most certainly dead.  (and it won’t eat your pets or kids!)

You will need:
Vegetable glycerine-a product removed during the soap making process, super cheap at hobby lobby especially with the 40% coupon online.
citric acid– a food safe preservative, also very inexpensive on amazon, I also use it in my toilet bowl fizzy cleaners.
warm water– slightly more rare than cold, but necessary.
1.  Choose your cuttings.  The tougher/harder the leaves the better.  I chose boxwood and holly, but since I had some extra glycerine mix, I grabbed some Weigelia branches as an experiment.  Make sure you have enough of a branch, not just leaves.
2.  Get some clean, tall glass vases.  You want them to be tall and skinny, but wide enough that your branches will fit alright.  You just want to minimize the amount of mix in the bottom.  The taller and skinnier the vessel, the less mix you’ll need.
3.  In a large bowl, add 2 1/2c of warm water and 1c. of glycerin and mix with a whisk.  Don’t mix too hard because you’ll get air bubbles and it won’t mix well.  Then add 1/2 tsp.  citric acid until dissolved.
4.  Next, I weighed my branches with a kitchen scale and placed 1 fluid ounce in a vase for every ounce of greenery.  I think I must have read that somewhere at some point in my life, but I have no clue where.  I may have just come from my brain too.
5.  Hammer the ends of your branches so they can drink up the glycerin mix easier, Stick your greenery in the vase, place it somewhere out of the way and wait.  Generally, it has taken my greens 2-3 weeks to soak up all the mixture.  I put them on top of the fridge with the rest of the “deal with later” projects.
Here is an example of what they might look like the 1st or 2nd day
They will all turn a bit darker or browner than when they were alive, but that’s what all good Zombies do.  They get a bit discolored and die.  Then they eat people.  Luckily, your Zombie Greenery will just stay in one place and always look good.
9 days:
20 days:  All of the glycerin solution has been absorbed.
Weigelia- a little yellowed and curled leaves.
Holly- very dark green and dark brown
Boxwood- just a bit darker green.
There ya have it.  Zombie Greenery.  Completely natural, free from plastics of any kind.  They also will not eat you.